I love putting Noelle to bed. Not just because it means I have some time to myself. ;-) But because she is so sweet and cuddly and angelic when she's sleepy. Just the other afternoon at nap time she was especially endearing. We followed our usual routine of putting on the sleep sack, reading a book, rocking and cuddling while mommy sings "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord", followed by a soothing massage with lullabies on the CD player.
I always rub her arms, hands and face with lotion. She has dry skin but hates me to lotion her up when she is wide awake. But when she is sleepy, the massage relaxes her and she actually likes the lotion. I usually start with her arms and work my way down to her hands, rubbing the palms and each individual finger. Then I finish off with rubbing lotion into her neck and face, massaging her temples and stroking her rosy cheeks. Then for good measure, I pat any remaining lotion into her skin with the palms of my hands.
Well, on this particular afternoon, when I started in on Noelle's hands, Noelle began to massage me! She wiped the lotion off of her face, dabbing delicately with her palms. Then she scraped off the lotion from her hands, and grabbed my hand and started stroking my fingers and rubbing my palms. I found myself trying hard not to chuckle, because, after all, she was supposed to be heading toward sleep. But after a couple minutes and she was still massaging my hand (and doing a mighty fine job, I might add), I started to enjoy the attention. I found myself getting droopy eyed. I started looking around for a place to stretch out for a nap. I forgot where I was. I began to daydream of fluffy clouds, lollipops, furry kittens, ice cream cones and...
SNAP out of it!!
I finished her massage, kissed her dewy cheeks, and tiptoed out of the room.